files new legal motion that calls on NEB to review climate impacts of Trans Mountain Pipeline

January 21, 2019

Legal, economic, climate experts say Canada’s energy regulator must consider upstream, downstream climate impacts

UNCEDED COAST SALISH TERRITORIES (Vancouver, BC) — A legal motion filed today, Monday, January 21, with the National Energy Board (NEB) on the Trans Mountain Pipeline reconsideration process, calls on the Board to expand its scope of review to include all upstream and downstream climate impacts for the project. 

The deadline for intervenors to file final arguments is January 22, and the pipeline company, which is now owned by the Canadian federal government, must reply to the arguments by January 25. The NEB’s final report will be submitted to the federal government on February 22.

“Today we are filing a motion with the NEB asking them to simply apply the same standard to Trans Mountain that they applied to Energy East when it comes to the pressing issue of climate change. Anything short of that would be an abdication of the federal government’s responsibility. There is not another form for these concerns about climate change to be heard — this is the last chance to do the right thing.”  — Casey Leggett of Martin + Associates who is acting as legal counsel for in the NEB process. 

In the review of the Energy East pipeline the National Energy Board decided that a full climate assessment was required. However when it comes to the Trans Mountain pipeline the National Energy Board has chosen to look at only a small fraction of the climate impacts of the project.

As an official intervenor in the reconsideration process for the Trans Mountain Pipeline, submitted nearly 70 pages of evidence to the National Energy Board in December 2018 stating that the Board must assess the full climate impacts of the project, including the recent report by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change that says the world has just 12 years to reduce emissions by 45% from 2010 levels to keep warming below 1.5C and avoid the worst impacts of climate change. 

“It is simply irresponsible that the government has so far refused to review the full climate impacts of this project. The oil and gas sector is the fastest growing source of greenhouse gas emissions in Canada. The Government of Alberta and other industry backers have said over and over again that they need the Trans Mountain pipeline to continue to expand the oil sands. That would lead to higher emissions and that’s not fair when the rest of Canada is working to reduce climate pollution. ” – Tzeporah Berman, International Program Director

The evidence filed in the motion says the federal government knows more about how dangerous climate change than it did 4 years ago during the project’s original assessment, which is why it’s important for the NEB to look at these issues. The NEB opted throughout the original review process to avoid considering the Trans Mountain Pipeline’s upstream and downstream climate change impacts.

“What is clear from research by my team and other leading institutes is that oil sands expansion is inconsistent with preventing warming greater than 2C. If the NEB is considering climate change, no further expansion of delivery infrastructure from the oil sands should be approved. This conclusion is even stronger when we apply the 1.5 C limit promoted by the Canadian government and analyzed in this latest IPCC report”. – Dr. Mark Jaccard, a climate-energy economics professor in the School of Resource and Environmental Management at Simon Fraser University and IPCC lead author.

“Our recent report shows very clearly that if we are going to ensure we stay below 1.5C of warming no further expansion of the oil industry or new oil infrastructure is possible.  We must ensure emissions go down significantly over the next decade starting now.” — Dr. Kirsten Zickfeld, a Simon Fraser University Department of Geography associate professor of climate science and lead author of the recent UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change special report.

A livestream of the press conference can be viewed online at .

Click here to read’s backgrounder. A copy of the motion can be found here.